Home Law & society LGBT rights – the long road to equality

LGBT rights – the long road to equality

24 July 2017

For many young people, the equal status of gay, bisexual and transgender people may seem like a non-issue but just 50 years ago, loving the wrong person could cost you a spell in prison.

This July sees the anniversary of the (partial) decriminalisation of male homosexuality in the UK. But although the 1967 Sexual Offences Act was a landmark legislation in some ways, it would be another 38 years before we would come close to equal rights.

Rocky journey

Far from being straightforward progression to a more liberal society,  the road to equal LGBT rights in the UK and across the world has been a long and rocky journey with many false starts and cul-de-sacs.

Human Rights Lawyer, Professor Robert Wintemute of The Dickson Poon School of Law has been involved in many landmark cases across the globe, including being cited last week in the UK Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex couples and pension rights.

He talks to Spotlight about how the pioneering 1957 Wolfenden Report led to the Act a whole decade later – and the domino effect it caused.

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